Over 100 New Species of Previously Unknown Marine Species Discovered During Deep Sea Expedition

Over 100 new species of previously unknown marine species have been discovered by marine scientists during a deep sea expedition off the coast of Chile in South America. The discovery particularly took place in the Southeast Pacific Ocean where new underwater mountains or seamounts, never seen before, were also detected by the scientists. The expedition confirms previous evidence of the abundance of life in the deep ocean.

The people involved in the discovery of the new marine species and underwater seamounts were researchers on board the research vessel Falkor owned by the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), a non-profit organization that focuses on global marine research. Between January 8 and February 11 this year, the SOI team explored the seafloor in the said Pacific region, thousands of miles from mainland South America.

Over recent decades, scientists have uncovered a treasure trove of marine life in the depths of the ocean, which has long been thought to be a lifeless abyss. In January 2024, biologists from SOI also discovered four new octopus species in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Costa Rica in South America, which is also covered by Nature World News. The biologists saw octopus hatchlings emerging from their eggs.

New Marine Species

Over 100 New Species of Previously Unknown Marine Species Discovered During Deep Sea Expedition
(Photo : Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash)

The SOI mapped 52,777 square kilometers of the seafloor west of Chile and found various new marine species, ranging from squat lobsters to amphipods, deep sea corals, sea urchins, and glass spongers, along with underwater mountains. In a press release on Thursday, February 22, the SOI confirmed that the underwater mountains are home to previously unknown life forms off the coast of the Latin American country.

The Falkor vessel explored seamounts along the Nazca and Salas y Gomez Ridge, which are both located outside and within Chile’s national jurisdiction. The seafloor mapping aimed to collect data that could support of placing an “international high-seas marine protected area. The said ridge is an underwater mountain that spans 2,900 kilometers. According to the news release, the deep ocean landscape contains creatures that are potentially unknown to science.

Also Read: UCR Nematologists Find New Species of Beneficial Nematodes in Thailand

Deep Sea Expedition Discoveries

Following the initial expedition this year, a second expedition will be conducted along the same ridge and aboard Falkor on Saturday, February 24, where a live stream of underwater dives will be broadcast on the SOI’s YouTube channel, Schmidt Ocean. SOI collaborates with the Nippon Foundation – Nekton Ocean Census Program. This initiative aims to find 100,000 new marine species in the next 10 years.

The same marine research institute, as mentioned earlier, is responsible for the discovery of four new octopus species earlier this year, wherein it was found that one of these species was brooding eggs at hydrothermal vents near relative cold temperatures. The findings also confirm that hydrothermal vents provide heat and warmth to balance its surrounding waters, providing a potential habitat for other marine animals as well.


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